Monday, 26 March 2012

This, that and the other

First, there's this:

HOTTER THAN CALIFORNIA

So read a headline in yesterday's paper. I don't like to rub it in... Well, I do really. We here in dingy old England don't often get the chance to crow that we have better weather than the folks in sunny Cal.

So that was this - and this is that.

Also seen in a newspaper (while waiting at the barber's): nowhere in the United Kingdom is more than 73 miles from the sea. I had heard that many years ago, except that back then the distance was 75 miles. I had visions of some geek sitting with a large-scale map and a tool rather like a cross between a slide rule and a pair of dividers carefully following the coastline to discover how much of the country lies more than or less than a given distance from the sea. But what we don't know is how "sea" is defined. Is it salt water, or perhaps tidal water - in which case there are all the rivers to be included up to the point where they are no longer tidal. That would make a huge difference.

And just a passing thought for the other. Here in England we buy our milk and beer in pints, our spirits in gills and our wine in centilitres. We buy our petrol in litres but calculate fuel consumption in miles per gallon. We measure distances in miles, yards and feet (or even furlongs when it comes to horse racing) but timber is sold in lengths and widths expressed in centimetres or millimetres. Jams and similar comestibles are sold in grams but the containers have the equivalent weight in ounces shown as well and the number of grams is typically 340. It is illegal to sell fruit by the pound - it has to be by the kilogram - but people typically ask for a pound of apples. Confused or just plain daft?

3 comments:

Buck said...

Confused or just plain daft?

I'll go with "daft," at the risk of offending. That said, I notice metricizing is creeping in here, as well. Except we have grams/centiliters in parens here. No kilometers yet, Thank The Deity At Hand.

Uncle Skip, said...

According to the Weather Service we reached 52 degrees yesterday. So "Hotter Than" is quite relative. We also had a half inch of rain and more is in the forecast ...along with some thunder

Stephen Hayes said...

Confusing indeed!